Festivals & Holidays — 13 October 2001
Waldorf Homeschoolers – Autumn

As the days grow shorter and the year begins its descent towards winter, all of nature’s creatures begin to prepare for the leaner times ahead. Nature Tables are lovely this time of year with all of the fallen leaves, nuts and pine cones. A fun activity for this time of year is a “Harvest House” which is traditionally used at Succot, the Jewish Harvest Festival.

Cut one long side from an empty cardboard box. Decorate the box, inside and out, with pictures of vegetables and fruits. Make a table and chairs from twigs and blocks or use furniture from your doll house. Spread twigs and leaves on top of the box to form a roof. Then hang small bunches of fruits (such as grapes of currants) from the ceiling.

Source: Natural Childhood

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There are many Thanksgiving celebrations and festivals celebrated all over the world. Most have their roots in the ancient festivals of light. Use this time to celebrate with your children and families and to learn about the festivals and cultural celebrations of your people, your roots.

Halloween Costume Suggestions:

Some ideas for non violet, non-Disney and non-TV costumes include: pumpkin, sun, elf, moon, prince/ss, knight, wizard, maiden, fairy, flower, gnome, butter- fly, forest child, honey bee, animals, storybook characters (Nils, Robin Hood, Rapunzel, etc.) or workers (mail delivery, fire fighter, construction, etc) and traditional dress from other countries also make lovely costumes. Of course, there is also my personal favorite:

“My name is Pippilotta Delicatessa Windowshade Mackrelmint Efraim’s Daughter Longstocking formerly the Terror of the Seas Now a Cannibal King!!!” Yes, My son was Pippi Longstocking one year. Some people questioned a boy being a girl, to which he also very knowledgably replied…. “This is Halloween and you can be whom or whatever you wish – and I am being Pippi because she is a wonderful character!”

waldorf halloween

“I am beginning to suspect all elaborate and special systems of education. They seem to me to be built upon the supposition that every child is a kind of idiot who must be taught to think. Whereas, if the child is left to himself, he will think more and better, if less showily. Let him go and come freely, let him touch real things and combine his impressions for himself, instead of sitting indoors at a little round table, while a sweet-voiced teacher suggests that he build a stone wall with his wooden blocks, or make a rainbow out of strips of colored paper, or plant straw trees in bead flower-pots. Such teaching fills the mind with artificial associations that must be got rid of, before the child can develop independent ideas out of actual experience.” – Anne Sullivan

The Nature Corner: Celebrating the Years Cycle with a Seasonal Table
This book is excellent for the parent or teacher looking for a way to use simple materials and objects found in nature to create little scenes celebrating the seasonal changes and holidays. Beautifully illustrated with very clear instructions and complete patterns, this book encourages a return to genuine imaginative creativity and an awareness of natural beauty.

Festivals, Family and Food
A great resource book, it is organized by Seasons as well as Holidays, with songs, stories, crafts and recipes that relate to the season or holiday. It is very easy to come up with nice additions to your family celebrations with this book.

Mabon: Celebrating the Autumn Equinox
It’s the season of changing colors; crisp air filled with the scent of wood smoke; and festivals offering wine, hot cider, and apple pie. At this time of equal day and night, we give thanks for the harvest that will sustain us through the dark winter months. This book explores the history, legends, and traditions of the season that is honored from the Far East to the Celtic Lands, and from Scandinavia to South America. Create your own Mabon tradition with the help of the book’s many recipes, magical workings, equinox rituals, and crafts for all ages.

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